CONFESSION: WHEN IT comes to meeting men, I’m not a bar person. I find most of my dates through setups from friends and have been known to be a repeat offender on dating apps.

Then came this assignment: Spend a few nights out on the town and come back with the best—and most hideous— approaches men use to pick up women for a night on the tiles. So I dressed in uniform—skin, makeup, curves, black dress, boots, more skin—and headed out on three separate nights to a steak house, a hotel bar, and a neighborhood watering hole.

Men, I learned many things.

The “What the hell?

Opener 1: “How old are you?” asked a drunk Brit within 11 seconds of my arrival at the steak house.

  • My reaction: Ew. If you want to be attractive to a woman, say she’s pretty, not old.
  • Outcome: He was so handsy the bartender ran interference.

Opener 2: “Why do men die before women? ‘Cause they want to,” said a bro at the bar.

  • My reaction: Misogyny won’t make a woman swoon.
  • Outcome: I never took my eyes off my Bordeaux. He went back to his seat.

Opener 3: “If you are what you eat, I could be you by morning,” said a hotel bar guy.

  • My reaction: Unappetizing to say the least, but better than “How much for an hour of half-and-half?” since most of the other women here were, well, pros who frequent the place.
  • Outcome: I drained my drink next to my new favorite bar prop, a copy of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, because hookers don’t read Hitler histories.